Monday, July 06, 2015

BRRBT Surfing the Seafield Road Surfaces

Yesterday was our monthly Black Top Ride and after the flooding that we had a couple of weeks ago I changed our plans from a few loops around Wanganui to a visit to the Hawkes Bay.  The plan was a quick trip up SH50, then to revisit Seafield Road (which was an old haunt of mine), across to Havelock North for lunch and then return via Middle Road and a new to me stretch through Hatuma to Weber Road and then home.

After a night that brought the odd shower of rain the day ended up starting out pretty fine and when I got to our launching point in Ashhurst there was already a few of the gang gassed up and ready to roll.

Looking good out towards the East...
Once the rest of the group (including 3 Buells!) arrived we caught up for a bit and then mounted up and went to check out the gorge.  It was a slow trip through the gorge, stuck behind traffic barely doing 50km/h and it was nice to finally get North of Woodville and get rolling along a bit better.  Even though it was turning into a bright sunny day the roads were quite wet in places so there must have been quite a bit of rain overnight.  By Tiko I sensed that some might want a breather so we pulled up at the pub (shut so no coffee) for a leg stretch.

Crappy winter's day!

Leaving Tiko we hit my favourite part of SH50 - a stretch that takes you up over a nice little hill and is jammed packed with great corners.  Even though it was damp under foot tyre, it was still fun!

At Fernhill we turned off 50 to head into the wops past Puketapu and finally to Seafield Road.  Watch the video and substitute the soundtrack for that of my wee RG250 ring-dinging it's way (over 20 years ago) through some great windies...

Popping out at Bayview we cruised into Napier and here we got a bit separated.  Looking behind me, I only had one person following me so I pulled up to wait...and wait.  Not good.  I got on the phone to Neil and got the bad news that a young chap on his first ride with us had ridden off the road on Seafield Road.  Luckily he was fine and the damage to his ZX-6 just cosmetic - lucky...

Reunited in Napier, we decided on an early lunch and enjoyed it sitting outside in the sunshine of a great Napier day.

Count the clouds...

After a nice lunch we remounted and followed the waterfront out of Napier and onto Clive.  Here we fuelled up and said goodbye to the Ninja rider and his riding mates and made for Havelock North and Middle Road.  Not much to say about Middle Road except that it was it's normal fantastic self, enter exhibit A - ignore the bug juice...

Eventually we were back onto SH2 and we pootled along it until just South of Waipuk where we turned off onto Hatuma Road.  I'd never been through here but had always been keen to go for a nosey.  It and the subsequent roads that eventually got us onto the Weber Road were fantastic.  They started off fast and open before getting narrower and windier.  The surface was mostly good except in a few places where there was the odd bit of metal or mud on the road.  The wind also came up a bit and we got blown around some in a few places.

My GoPro got splattered again and all the video I got looks a bit like this:

Neil managed to capture a few of the Buels playing around behind him though:

We stopped again at Weber Road for a quick natter (a cold wind was a blowing) before the last leg home.

Barry wearing a bit of mud

Decisions, decisions...

Russell and his wee Guzzi

Colin reeling in a Trumpy...
We turned right at the sign and were soon heading South of Dannevirke.  I took us off SH2 again and made for the Saddle.  We got a few spits of rain on our way and things looked fairly black near the hills but in the end the trip over the Saddle was in pretty good conditions - still plenty of roadworks but a lot of progress has been made.

In Ashhurst a few of us stopped for a drink while the rest departed for home after a cracking ride in fantastic (it's supposed to be winter) conditions!  Now where too next month...



  1. Always a bummer when someone goes off roading on their sport bike. Glad to see it wasn't aTriumph napping this time and no one was hurt.

    We managed to get out for a mountain bike ride Friday, that was about all the two wheeled action for the weekend.

    1. Good that nobody was hurt but disappointing that we had another incident - I'd much rather avoid them altogether.

      Great you got out on the pushies but I want to see some pics of the "proper" bikes out being exercised...